MasterChef star Poh, 48, reveals what keeps her young

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·4-min read

Not everyone is lucky enough to get an invite to MasterChef star Poh Ling Yeow's dinner parties, but, thanks to Spotify, at least we can set a similar mood in our own homes.

The culinary icon has teamed up with the music streaming platform to whip up a playlist that's peppered with the likes of Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra.

Poh Ling Yeow wears a navy dress, gold earrings and red lipstick at the L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Retinol Launch on May 26, 2021 in Sydney, Australia
MasterChef star Poh Ling Yeow credits 'living a vibrant life' for her youthful appearance. Photo: Getty Images.

"I do love an old-world tune," Poh, 48, tells Yahoo Lifestyle in an exclusive chat. "I love the familiarity."

"Being in my late 40s, all those songs are things that I grew up with so it's all about comfort to me and making people feel comfortable," she adds.

Retro taste in music aside, it's hard to believe the endlessly vibrant and youthful Poh is actually in her late 40s. Her fans are often astonished when they find out her age, which she finds both funny and flattering. 

So, what's Poh's secret?

"I live a really vibrant life," she says. "And I really fight hard for it."

Poh Ling Yeow wearing red headphones while holding a glass mixing bowl with egg yolks. Photo: supplied.
Poh has shared her ideal dinner party playlist. Photo: supplied.

Despite coming from a generation where office jobs were the norm, Poh knew she couldn't let herself be 'stuck' in that type of career.

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"So very early on in life my goal was to carve myself out a job that I loved and I think that's what keeps me really young.

"I have a lot of control, a lot of autonomy over the way I spend my time and what I choose to do and I've always been very fierce about guarding that freedom."

It's this tenacity and conviction that's seen Poh find success across multiple avenues: as a painter, a makeup artist, TV chef, cookbook author and business owner. To use a culinary metaphor, she likes to 'suck the marrow out of life'.

MasterChef star Poh Ling Yeow poses in a white top and green skirt on a brown leather couch
At home with Poh and Rhino, one her two Scottish terriers. Photo: Henry Trumble (supplied).

"I'm very greedy about having life experiences. If an opportunity presents itself I always have a good look at it; I'm someone that's always like, 'Ooh I think that's possible' rather than, 'Oh no I couldn't do that,'" she explains.

But, for Poh, it's also about what she chooses not to do that's led her where she is today. 

"Not having kids really helps as well, I think, to maintain that youthful energy," she laughs.

MasterChef memories

Poh's 'meandering' career was, by her own admission, given a kick start back in 2009 by the debut of a little reality TV cooking show called MasterChef.

"That show has just such a huge spot in my heart because, and I always say this jokingly but it's true, I was, you know, birthed from those loins into the food world," she says.

Poh ended up coming second to winner Julie Goodwin but won over the Aussie viewing public.

Then, in 2020, much to the delight of fans Poh returned to where it all began on MasterChef: Back To Win, along with other all-star contestants. It was a dream come true.

Poh Ling Yeow wearing a green dress and a white apron on the set of MasterChef: Back To Win in 2020
Poh thrilled fans with her appearance on MasterChef: Back To Win in 2020. Photo: Channel 10.

"I had kind of been manifesting it for many years," she admits with a chuckle. "I was like, 'I hope they do a MasterChef all-stars because I'm there!' Then when they asked me, I couldn't say 'yes' fast enough."

Poh is currently 'loving' Celebrity MasterChef, which sees a cast of famous faces go head-to-head in a cooking showdown to raise funds for charity.

"It is just such a wholesome positive show and I think time and time again we're reminded how much food is heart and love, and watching all those celebrities cook food that they cook for their family, it's just such a beautiful thing. You can't go wrong with that, it just resonates with everyone," she says.

Right now, Poh says she's going through a 'massive creative surge' and has her current favourite song, "Shoes," by Japanese-Canadian singer-songwriter Jonah Yano on repeat.

"It's cruisy and makes me think of ideas getting birthed," she says. Watch this space.

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